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This website publishes administrative rules on their effective dates, as designated by the adopting state agencies, colleges, and universities.

Rule 5101:2-13-11 | Indoor and outdoor space requirements for a licensed family child care provider.


(A) What are the indoor space requirements for a licensed family child care home?

(1) There shall be at least thirty-five square feet of usable wall-to-wall indoor floor space per child for the total number of children who are present at one time.

(2) Usable indoor floor space shall not include bathrooms, hallways, storage rooms or other areas not available or not used for child care.

(B) What are the outdoor space requirements for a licensed family child care home?

(1) The home shall have an on-site outdoor space that:

(a) Provides at least sixty square feet of usable space per child using the area at one time.

(b) Is located away from traffic or protected from traffic by a continuous fence in good condition with functioning gates or a continuous natural barrier, or a combination of fence and natural barrier. The fence or natural barrier shall ensure that children are not able to leave the outdoor play area unsupervised and shall ensure that any hazards from the outside cannot enter the outdoor play area without the child care staff member or provider being aware of them. Examples of natural barriers include, but are not limited to space, dense hedges, walls, permanently anchored dividers or partitions.

(c) Is protected from animals.

(d) Provides access to bathroom facilities and drinking water during play times.

(e) Provides a shaded area. The shade may be naturally occurring from trees, building, or overhangs. Providers may also install lawn umbrellas that are securely anchored or other structures that provide shade in a safe manner.

(2) The home shall not use outdoor porches above the first floor as play areas, unless the porches are fully enclosed and structurally sound.

(3) Bodies of water (other than water tables designed for children to play in only with their hands) shall be separated from the play area by a fence or other physical barrier (the house door alone is not a sufficient barrier) that prevents children from accessing the water.

(C) What are the exemptions from having an on-site outdoor space?

If an on-site play area is not available, a provider may use an off-site play area for daily use if it is determined, upon inspection by the provider and the county agency, that the area and its accessibility are safe. An off-site play area approved for regular use shall meet the same requirements as the on-site play areas listed in this rule.

(D) What are the requirements for outdoor equipment?

(1) Outdoor equipment, whether stationary or portable, shall be safe and designed to meet the developmental needs of all of the age groups of children using the space.

(2) Equipment such as, but not limited to, climbing gyms, swings, slides shall:

(a) Be placed out of the path of the area's main traffic pattern.

(b) Be anchored or stable and have all parts in good working order and securely fastened.

(c) Have all climbing ropes anchored at both ends and not capable of looping back on themselves creating a loop with an interior perimeter of five inches or greater.

(d) Have "S" hooks that are closed in order to prevent the chain from slipping off of the hook and to prevent strangulation, if they are used.

(e) Be free of rust, cracks, holes, splinters, sharp points or edges, chipped or peeling paint, lead hazards, toxic substances, protruding bolts or tripping hazards.

(f) Have no openings that are greater than three and one half inches, but less than nine inches to avoid entrapment of the head or other body parts.

(g) Have protective barriers on platforms that are thirty inches high or higher. A protective barrier means an enclosing device around an elevated platform that is intended to prevent both inadvertent and deliberate attempts to pass through the device.

(h) Be assembled, installed and utilized according to manufacturer's guidelines.

(3) Sandboxes shall be covered with a lid or other covering when the program is closed. For programs operating twenty-four hours per day, this means sandboxes are covered during non-daylight hours.

(E) What are the requirements for a fall zone?

Outdoor play equipment designated for climbing, swinging, balancing and sliding shall have a fall zone of protective resilient material on the ground under and around the equipment.

(1) The material may be one of the following, but not limited to, washed pea gravel, mulch, sand, wood chips, or synthetic material such as rubber mats or tiles manufactured for this purpose.

(2) Equipment shall not be placed directly over concrete, asphalt, blacktop, dirt, rocks, grass or any other hard surface.

(3) Synthetic surfaces shall follow manufacturer's guidelines for depth.

(4) All loose fill materials, such as mulch, sand, wood chips, washed pea gravel shall be raked, as needed to retain their proper distribution and depth. Foreign materials are to be removed prior to use by children.

Last updated October 29, 2021 at 8:43 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 5104.017, 5104.018
Amplifies: 5104.017, 5104.018
Five Year Review Date: 10/29/2026
Prior Effective Dates: 10/1/1983, 9/1/1986, 9/5/1986, 2/15/1988, 5/1/1989, 10/15/1996, 10/1/1997 (Emer.), 12/30/1997, 4/1/2003, 7/1/2003, 9/1/2005, 8/14/2008, 7/1/2010, 1/1/2014, 11/22/2015, 12/31/2016